January 27, 2020

A Series: Christian Theology—Answers to Questions: Three: Can God’s Existence Be Proved?   Christian theology often begins with what is called “prolegomena”—“things that go before”—and that often includes some discussion of “natural theology”—what can be known about God before and apart from the special revelation Christians believe God has given in Jesus Christ, the Hebrew prophets and earliest Christian apostles and in scripture. Natural theology has had its “ups” and “downs” in the history of Christian theology. Here I offer… Read more

January 24, 2020

I Interrupt This Series with a Sidebar about “Folk Religion” Actually, it’s not so much an interruption as a long footnote to my ongoing series about theology. Many have asked what I mean by “folk religion.” I first learned the concept from sociologist and historian of religion Robert Ellwood, author of many books especially about American religions. I expand on his definition and description. Some years ago I wrote a book entitled Answers to All Your Questions: The Journey from… Read more

January 21, 2020

A Series: Christian Theology—Answers to Questions: Two: Why Theology Is Necessary     Why is theology necessary? Simply put—because the Bible is not always as clear as we wish it were. There is an old Protestant adage that the Bible interprets itself. Some Protestants have believed that the Bible is “perspicuous”—capable of being understood correctly by anyone who reads it without wrong presuppositions or biases. The Bible without Theology is not just the title of a book; it is an… Read more

January 19, 2020

A Series: Christian Theology—Answers to Questions: One: Why Theology? Here I introduce a new series on this blog. I am going to write a series of essays about basic questions Christian theology at least attempts to answer. Over my almost forty years of teaching Christian theology I have accumulated numerous questions that occur and re-occur. Here I will answer the most common ones. One very common question, asked in many ways, is what is the need for theology? Why do… Read more

January 16, 2020

Pentecostal Theology: A Brief Description Roger E. Olson The modern Pentecostal Movement began during the first decade of the 20th century. Some who need a date for its birth choose 1906—the year of the “Azusa Street Revival” in Los Angeles. However, the movement has older roots and really became organized later as denominations and institutions were formed. Most of the first modern Pentecostals were members of so-called “Holiness” churches such as the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesley-inspired revivalist… Read more

January 15, 2020

Has Science Buried God? John Lennox Says No Recently I found and viewed an interview on Youtube that constitutes one of the best examples of Christian apologetics I have ever heard or read. Please view and listen to it. It is part of a series called “Socrates in the City.” The title is “Has Science Buried God?” The interviewer is conservative Christian writer Eric Metaxas and the interviewee is retired Oxford professor of mathematics and philosophy of science John Lennox…. Read more

January 11, 2020

A More Critical Look at Greg Boyd’s “Inspired Imperfection” In my previous post I generally agreed with Greg’s account of the Bible as inspired in the whole (plenary inspiration) but not inerrant. I think that case can be made and Greg has at least pointed in one direction for doing that (viz., God’s condescension and accommodation with regard to the human authors’ depictions of him in the OT). However, now I want to express one point of disagreement with Greg’s… Read more

January 7, 2020

Greg Boyd’s New Book about the Bible First, this is not a traditional book review; it is simply my musings about Inspired Imperfection: How the Bible’s Problems Enhance Its Divine Authority (Fortress Press, 2020). Second, Greg is my friend, so I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt in all things. However, I am not averse to raising critical questions. When we were colleagues we had wonderful arguments. We both love to argue—with the goal of “iron sharpening… Read more

January 3, 2020

Religious and Theological Categories… Recently here I argued that in the U.S. (possibly also elsewhere) many people are misusing terms, labels, and categories. The example I discussed then was “Reformed” and “Calvinist.” I have noticed that, during the past few decades, many Americans use those labels interchangeably. That is, for them, “Reformed” means “Calvinist” and vice versa. This is unhinged from historical theology. This is the problem with contemporary popular uses of terms and categories; they are becoming meaningless or… Read more

December 29, 2019

The Devolution of Christian Congregational Song Over the years of this blog (about ten) I have often broached the subject of contemporary Christian worship and especially congregational singing in contemporary worship. I have visited numerous American evangelical churches in many locales across the U.S. and heard from many people who are dismayed about what I am here calling the devolution or degradation of congregational singing in contemporary evangelical worship. I grew up in American evangelical Christianity and have taught thousands… Read more

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